Wednesday, June 27, 2012

15wk Well-Baby Visit

Gracie’s surgery is in just 21 days… the countdown has officially begun!  We had our 4-month well baby visit on Thursday, which was a bit before the 16-week mark due to her operation.  Grace isn’t allowed to have any meds within 3 weeks of the cleft surgery and if she gets sick the operation will be pushed back.  Because pediatrician office’s are typically crawling with sick kiddos and we knew baby girl was due for her 2nd and 3rd shots, we wanted to schedule her appointment at least a month before “G day” otherwise known as Gracie’s operation day.

I was a little nervous for this check-up because I knew baby girl was going to get poked not once but twice and shots always make me super anxious!  Before G gave birth we made the decision with our Ped. to span Gracie’s 1st year immunizations out over a 2-year period rather than 12 months.  Because of this she had only received one shot prior to this appointment and we still had very clear memories of how heartbreaking it was to watch her go through it the first time.  Thankfully she handled shots #2 and #3 like a champ which was a good thing because we totally forgot to bring her bottle AND binks to soothe… she had to self-soothe this time around, poor girl.  Other than that Doctor C said that little babe is doing great!  She was very impressed with Gracie’s vocal development and even said that Grace is much more vocal than most babies she sees at this age!  She asked if we read to baby G often, to which we replied – yes ma’am!  Reading to Grace is so important to me so I was beyond happy to get feedback on how much it’s helping her!  During the appointment Gracie actually interrupted the doctor 3 times insisting that we all pay attention to her, so we did.  It was hilarious!  Doctor C also gave us kudos on baby’s leg strength and balance.  Gracie LOVES to stand 24/7 so this appointment gave her ample opportunity to show off this skill. ;) 

Aside from Grace getting weighed and measured, that pretty much sums it up.  

4-month stats:
·       Height: 23.5 inches – 40th percentile
·       Weight: 12lbs, 13oz – 35th percentile
·       Head size/brain growth: 16 inches – 57th percentile

Sunday, June 24, 2012

You learn something new everyday…

Or in my case, several times a day.  This parenting thing is no joke.  Just when you feel like you’ve gotten the hang of things you’re thrown a curveball.  Just this month alone I have learned so much.

I’ve learned that…

·       If you spend all your time washing baby cloths you will find yourself pulling skirts out of the hamper to wear to work.
·       Drinking more than 2 glasses of wine just because your kiddo fell asleep early is never a good idea.  The earlier they fall asleep, the earlier they wake up in the AM.  Ouch.
·       When you’ve had a busy baby day it is easier to grab take-out for dinner BUT if you do this often enough – your ass will get bigger.  Trust me.
·       Always wait until the last minute to get dressed for work that is unless you enjoy discovering you have spit up on your boob at 4pm following a department meeting.
·       If you wash your cloth diapers in Tide Free & Gentle they will no longer absorb and you’ll be stuck washing pee-covered sheets multiple times a week.  “All natural”… yeah right!  
·       Blogging is a perfectly good use of naptime and/or your lunch hour at work.  It’s amazing what you can get done in 60 minutes.   
·       It is possible to function on 3 hours of sleep.
·       Babies totally pick up on your energy.  Me and G had a tough 2 days and it turned Gracie girl into one grumpy babe.
·       If you’re going to an important event pack 2 or even 3 outfits.  The more important the occasion, the higher likelihood your child will pee, poop or spit up on what they are wearing.

I’ve also learned that it is possible for a baby to get cuter every month. ;)   

Saturday, June 23, 2012

The Birthday Boy

Our nephew Devin turned 6 years old this past weekend so as is customary my brother rented a gigantic jumper and waterslide for the event.  Devin’s water themed party was at the park, which we loved because it gave us an excuse to finally dress baby girl in one of the adorable swimsuits we were given at our shower and let me just say – there are a couple of things that I learned about baby swimsuits as we got ready for the party… 1.) They can be very difficult to put on 2.) They are super cute but not the most comfortable attire for little babes and 3.) Once you finally get the damn thing on, your child will likely take a GIANT poop as our Gracie girl did and you’ll need to start the process all over AGAIN!  The poor thing was so "over it" by the time she was finally dressed, lol!  Looking on the brightside, I did get a lot of practice taking the swimsuit on and off so we’re all set for swim time this summer!  Ha!   

They say that when you see someone often you don’t really notice just how much they’ve grown.  This was definitely true for Devin.  I watched as this once little kid, who was terrified of the waterslide at his last party, now sliding down headfirst!  I went to give a big hug and kiss to my cuddly little man only to discover that he now prefers just a hug, no kisses and I watched as the birthday boy opened his gifts while holding his composure and thanking everyone, when just last year he squealed with excitement during present time.  I realized that he’s not just getting older – he is older.  It’s only a matter of time before he is as big as his brother Rudy and no longer asks for “huggies”, otherwise known as hugs. ::tear::

We spent the afternoon in the sun grilling burgers, listening to Classic Rock and playing in the water.  At the risk of sounding cheesy, the day was just another reminder of how lucky we are to have the family we have.  My great grandparents who are 95 and 93 years old were able to join us and smiled from ear to ear as they cuddled baby girl.  We also got to spend some good quality time with my sister-in-law and her family who absolutely adore Grace.

The highlight of the day involved my genius idea to climb inside the water jumper to play with the boys.  Let’s just say that getting into a jumper made for children is much easier than getting out of one!  After jumping around a bit I made my way to the exit, realized that the opening was much lower than I remembered and as I attempted to climb through it I ended up getting shot out of the opening like a canon.  Luckily I landed on my feet and there were no pictures taken of my near death experience. ;)

I LOVE this picture!  Just look at that face :)
Rudy right before he squirted me (and my camera)!
The man of the hour!  Happy birthday Devin, we love you!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Summer Fun Bucket List

Today marks the first official day of summer!  Woot, woot!  I recently found inspiration to make another Bucket List for the summer while visiting a blog I follow, Role Playing With Kids.  Special thanks to K J and the kiddos for the great idea. :)

Over these past couple of weeks, I’ve been busy researching fun stuff to do with baby girl in the coming months.  Much to my surprise there are quite a bit of activities for babies and toddlers in this beautiful city of ours which is just awesome!  We really want to expose Grace to as many new sights, sounds, tastes and experiences as possible, and I think this is a great way to do just that.  Behold our Summer Fun Bucket List!  I can’t wait to share pictures of her many adventures.

Ready, set, go!     

§  Take baby girl swimming for the first time
§  Go to a Music Together family music class
§  Visit our neighborhood Public Library to get Gracie her very own library card
§  Take Gracie to her first Little Gym class for 4 month olds
§  Go on a picnic at a park we’ve never visited
§  Take our first family trip to Penasco
§  Visit grandma and grandpa’s Senior Center
§  Begin baby sign language lessons
§  Take Gracie to Toddler Time at ¡Explora!
§  Visit a city park to take baby girl swinging
§  Spend an afternoon visiting the Nature Center
§  Take a Gymboree Play & Learn class
§  Complete an art project with Gracie
§  Visit the Botanical Gardens

When I have the time I’ve been trying to take a pic of little babe in the morning time when she is the happiest!  Here are a few morning pics taken over the past couple of weeks.  Me and G are NOT morning people so I don’t know where she gets it from? ;)

Sunday, June 17, 2012

7th Annual Blogging for LGBT Families Day!

When me and G started dating many moons ago, we wanted a group of lesbian friends so bad!  It wasn’t that we didn’t have as many lesbian friends as we would have liked… it’s that we didn’t have a single one.  To be honest, we still don’t have any that we’re close with.  I know this may sound like the most random thing and you are likely asking yourself, why do you need gay lady friends and what’s wrong with palling around with straight friends?!  That’s a good question – allow me to explain.  First, we LOVE our heterosexual friends.  So much so that the majority of people we are super close with have been in our lives for 20+ years.  They’re great and we are lucky to have them.  Having said that, we still long for that sense of community that seems to be missing when you don’t have close friends that can identify with your family and your experiences as a lesbian couple.

A few years back, Georgia and I threw a BYOL (Bring Your Own Lesbian) party.  We thought it would be a great opportunity to meet lesbo couples living in NM and when the day came that we had kids, we would have other mom/mom families that we could join for play dates.  Well… not a single lesbian came to our party.  We ended up throwing a bash with all of our "fabulous" guy friends and it turned out to be a pretty great night.  I think that’s when we made peace with the fact that we weren’t going to have the huge network of lesbian gal pals that we wanted and that it was ok if we didn’t.
Chillin with the homies at our BYOL party ~ 2007
This is one of the reasons I love blogging so much.  When I started this blog 2 years ago I did it as a way of tracking our TTC journey.  Little did I know that it would create the LGBT sense of community that I longed for.  I’ve had the opportunity to meet so many 2 mom and 2 dad families and follow along as they raise their kids and just live life.  To put it simply, it has been great to read about and see pictures of families that are like mine.  I love reading these stories and I enjoy contributing to the dialogue as well.  The wife recently submitted a post that I wrote back in 2010 about same sex marriage as a contributing post on Mombian’s Blogging for LGBT Families Day.  There were so many great contributions from gay and lesbian families from all over that I ended up spending nearly an entire day reading all of them.  I would encourage you all to read a few.  I’m number 58. :) 

Friday, June 15, 2012

{This Moment}

{This moment} – A Friday ritual.  A single photo – no words – capturing a simple, special, extraordinary moment.  A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments for all to find and see. 

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Three Months of Gracie

Gracie’s 3 month post brought to you by G (aka Mommy) ~

My how time flies!  Gracie is officially 3 months old and I am amazed at how much she has grown and all the new things that she is starting to do.  I honestly feel like everyday is an adventure as she discovers more about her new little family.  I wake up in the morning excited to interact with her and see what new things she is going to teach us.  If I had to pick one “best moment” over this past month, it was definitely watching her expressions and reactions when I picked her up from grandma and grandpa’s house (her daycare) on day 1.  She is such an intelligent kid. I was truly amazed at how she went through so many emotions in those 5 minutes.  First, she looked at me with shock (a look of “is it really you?” – if I blink you might not be there again so I’m not going to blink).  Then she started crying – almost with a sense of relief that she saw me again.  When I finally held her, she stopped crying and just grabbed on to me tightly as if to say don’t let me go again. And from that point, she just stayed pressed right up against me keeping everything else where she could see it.  If grandma or grandpa was out of view, she would move her body to be able to see them.  She wasn’t going to let them sneak up on her again… lol!  Once I put her in the car to go home, grandma and grandpa leaned in to say goodbye but she would not look at them.  She just stayed looking at the seat, straight ahead – she was definitely ready to go home and we all just laughed because it was such a strong reaction and yet so cute.  Grandma (my mom) said she was happy and smiling all day until I got there to pick her up, lol!  I’m sure this sounds like a biased interpretation of her reactions because I wanted her to miss me and mama, but these things really did happen, all from a tiny two and a half month old baby which to me was so adorable and amazing to watch.

Here’s a bit more on what our little stinker was up to in month THREE

* Gracie is gaining more control of her head and body movements.  Her neck gets stronger everyday and she has started lifting her head when you try to lay her back in her car seat or in your arms.  She is also starting to grab things with more intention.  She reaches out to grab our fingers and hair and grabs the toys on her play mat.
* Gracie is sitting in the Bumbo!  She still likes to hang her head down at times which makes us a little fearful so we haven’t completely introduced the Bumbo yet. But she can totally sit upright in it, looking relaxed and excited to be able to better observe her environment.
* She is also talking up a storm!  She has a lot of stories to tell us every day – in the car, hanging out with her moms but most especially when we are reading together.  She just loves her books so we try and read to her for at least an hour after work everyday.  Her voice is so cute when she’s being read to.

* Baby girl can now lay on the Boppy on her tummy and completely hold her head up.
* We now officially have a “sleep through the night” (STTN) baby!  Grace now goes to bed around 8pm.  We wake her up for a feeding at 11pm and then our precious little one sleeps until 6-6:30am.  Sometimes I think she would sleep even longer if we let her.
* Stinks is also almost rolling over!  She can lift her bottom up to help when we are changing her diaper and I see her rocking all the time to roll over – I think we may be able to report a roll over by the mark of month 4 so stay tuned…
* Our little stinker has finally moved up to between 4-4.5oz at mealtime.
* The smiles and expressions just keep coming with baby girl.  She really talks with her little blonde eyebrows so much.  I just love when she’s smiling at me and she moves her eyebrows all over!

* This month we had to say goodbye to her newborn outfits.  I was the so sad when it came time to pack away the adorable little hospital beanie that we brought her home in – this was the moment that I realized how quickly all of these precious moments are going to come and go.  Now onto her cute summer outfits, yay!!
* Grace likes the mirror.  I think she gets more excited to see me in the mirror when we are looking together than she does to see herself.  When she sees me she cracks up laughing so I guess she’s figured out that I’m a little funny looking.  ;)
* Baby girl has discovered TV.  We don’t want her to become addicted to the tube, especially at 3 months so we try to do activities (like reading and tummy/play mat time) with her to minimize screen time.  On a positive note, HBO family has a show called Classical Baby and she loves it.  They play different classical music pieces matched with great baby visuals so we figure if she’s going to be looking at the screen it might as well be beneficial to her… 

and that's about it for now ~

Happy 3 months to our beautiful stinker dinks!

Lights, camera, action!

It has been far too long since I last posted video of our little bean.  Here are a few of our favorite clips from the past 2 months. :)

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Birth Announcement

Believe it or not, we have had these birth announcements for over a month now and have yet to get them out to everyone!  The original plan was to order the announcements and drop them in the mail before Grace turned a month old, yet here we are approaching month 3 and the majority of them are still sitting on the dining room table… I’m telling you, my time management skills are at an all time low!  Any who, we loved the way they turned out and couldn’t feel more proud to announce the arrival of our beautiful baby girl (even if we are running a few weeks... or months behind schedule).

For those family and friends that have not yet received an announcement, hang in there.  They are on the way – I promise!  Xoxo.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Trying to get organized…

Notice I said trying.  I’m not nearly as good at this as I would like to be.  I was just talking to G about how I never realized how much household things we used to get done in the evenings until we no longer had the time to do them.  As two working moms the last thing we want to do when we get home is the dishes considering we usually only have around 3 hours with Gracie before she goes to bed.  So often times we don’t.  There is always at least 2 loads of laundry that need to be done, dishes, yard work, grocery shopping, etc. and whenever we get around to cleaning the front rooms of the house the back rooms are in need of some serious attention.  In short… I need a housekeeper or at least a personal assistant. 

I’m often told by friends who are parents that you have to just learn to be ok with doing what you can and that no matter how much you do, there will always be more that needs to be done.  I guess I just feel like I could do better or that at minimum I could be more organized.  So that’s where I decided to start and the area most in need of a little organization was Grace’s room.  Because Grace arrived 2 weeks early her room wasn’t completely finished.  Fast-forward 3 months and there are still shelves sitting in her crib that need to be hung and up until yesterday her closet was a total mess.  There were baby clothes in the living room, in bags and in the laundry room. Sizes were mixed together and little baby shoes were in every room of the house!  I decided to start by packing up all her newborn clothes that no longer fit, which was a totally emotional experience.  Who knew we could grow so attached to baby PJ’s and little socks. 

Goodbye teenie tiny baby clothes ::tear::

Once I packed Gracie’s newborn clothes I was on a roll.  I finished her laundry, sized everything, hung her itty-bitty outfits and organized everything else this little fashionista of ours has to wear in the coming months!  It may not seem like a big “to-do” but her closet is now finished and that’s one thing I can scratch off the list!  So behold my daughter's beautiful closet!

0-3 month attire complete with shoes and accessories. :)

3-6 and 6-12 month clothes.  She’ll be in these threads before we know it!

Now on to the other rooms of the house... wish me luck.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Great news for NM LGBT Families!

I just started my “adoption savings account” a week ago, but according to this recent New Mexico Supreme Court decision, I may not need to continue saving.  When I first read this article on the National Center for Lesbian Rights website I couldn’t believe what I was reading.  This is such amazing news for our family and for all non-biological mothers in NM.  Below is the article if you would like to give it a read.

(San Francisco, CA, June 1, 2012)—Today, the New Mexico Supreme Court issued a decision recognizing important new protections for non-biological mothers who are raising children with a same-sex partner. The Court held that a woman who raises a child with another woman and assumes parental and financial responsibility for the child can be a legal parent under New Mexico law, just as a male parent would be, regardless of whether she is a biological parent.

National Center for Lesbian Rights client Bani Chatterjee and her partner, Taya King, were in a committed, long-term relationship and decided to raise a child together through international adoption. Because they could not adopt jointly due to discrimination against same-sex couples, only Taya legally adopted their child from abroad. Although Bani did not adopt their daughter, Taya and Bani co-parented their daughter, and Bani supported the family financially. Bani and Taya eventually ended their relationship after they had lived together as a family for nine years. Taya moved to Colorado with their daughter and tried to prevent Bani from having any contact with their child.

Bani filed a petition in the New Mexico district court to establish parentage and seek custody. She argued that she was presumed to be a legal parent to the child under the New Mexico Uniform Parentage Act because she openly held out the child as her own and established a personal, financial or custodial relationship with the child. The district court dismissed Bani’s case. The New Mexico Court of Appeals ruled that New Mexico law only allows fathers, not mothers, to establish parentage based on these facts, but that Bani may be able to seek visitation as a non-legal parent.

The New Mexico Supreme Court reversed the Court of Appeals and ruled that a woman who holds herself out as the child’s parent and has a parental relationship with the child can be a legal parent under New Mexico law, in the same way that a man would be. The Court also made it clear that even if a non-biological parent has not adopted the child she can be recognized as parent, and that once the non-biological parent is recognized as a parent, both parents are equal legal parents under the law and have an equal right to seek custody.

The Court noted that “our Legislature has recognized that there will be many situations in which someone is caring for a child but has not taken any steps to legalize that relationship.” The Court stated that the law recognizes those relationships “because parental rights are not automatically conferred when there is a biological relationship, but rather when an alleged parent has taken the responsibility of caring for a child.”

NCLR Family Protection Project Director Cathy Sakimura said: “This is a tremendously important decision for our client and for many other families and children in New Mexico who have created stable, loving parent-child relationships that are not based on biology. The New Mexico Supreme Court affirmed that the parentage statutes must be applied equally to protect children, regardless of their parents’ marital status, gender, or sexual orientation. We are grateful to the Court for issuing such a thoughtful, well-reasoned opinion that will no doubt serve as a powerful model for courts in other states.”

Bani Chatterjee said: “I’m beyond thrilled. It is so wonderful for my daughter and me to have our relationship recognized and respected. After so many years of tension and uncertainty, this will help us all heal and move forward.”

Caren I. Friedman, one of Bani’s attorneys, said: “I could not be more pleased for my client and for all of the families in New Mexico that will be touched by the Court’s wise and thoughtful decision. I am grateful that the Court has placed New Mexico among the jurisdictions that interpret the Uniform Parentage Act in a manner that affords broad protection and support for children and their parents. I also want to express my indebtedness to NCLR for its expertise and commitment to my client’s case.”

Bani Chatterjee was represented by NCLR and New Mexico attorneys Caren I. Friedman and N. Lynn Perls, and initially represented by Jerome Ginsburg. NCLR Legal Director Shannon Minter argued the case in the New Mexico Supreme Court.

Amicus briefs in support of Bani Chatterjee were submitted by a number of family law professors represented by numerous New Mexico family law attorneys, and the National Association of Social Workers represented by the Southwest Women’s Law Center.

The National Center for Lesbian Rights is a national legal organization committed to advancing the civil and human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and their families through litigation, public policy advocacy, and public education.

In other news, baby girl gets more adorable everyday.  Here’s proof!

Happy Saturday friends!  

Friday, June 1, 2012

Gracie’s 1st Camping Trip

I know what some of you must be thinking as you read this post… “You took your baby camping, really”?!  The reason I’m assuming that a few of you will have this reaction, is that many of our friends and family had the same response.  To help everyone understand why we felt it was perfectly fine and safe to introduce our baby girl to the great outdoors at 3 months old I’ll have to give you a little background first.  Growing up my family practically LIVED at the lake and in the mountains.  During the summer months we went laking or camping literally every other weekend and this tradition started when I was just 6 weeks old.  I have many, many pictures of my siblings and I playing in the water or crawling in the dirt, having a great time as little babies.  To be completely honest, these are some of my fondest memories!

When I first met Georgia years ago, her love for the outdoors (specifically camping) was one of the things that sealed the deal and showed me that she was the one.  She had all the best camping gadgets and other wilderness accessories and was more than enthusiastic to continue the tradition of being outdoorsman or woman should I say!  A little over 2 years ago we purchased a pop-up camper together and have since taken it out on the open road as often as possible.  While I don’t think that I could have taken Grace camping at 6 weeks like my parents did, (we barely left the house at 6 weeks…) 3 months felt like a completely appropriate and comfortable time to take our first camping trip as a family.  So that’s exactly what we did!

Joined by my family we headed out to Jemez, New Mexico bright and early this past Saturday for the Memorial Day weekend.  We decided to camp in Jemez because it was the furthest location from the fires that are currently burning in the Southern part of the state.  In hindsight, I’m so glad we decided on Jemez because we heard that the air quality got pretty bad in town this past weekend and we were glad to get Gracie away from that!  Our camp sight was super cute and came equipped with a man-made campfire and picnic table!  We certainly managed to cram a lot into 3 days…

We set up camp ~

We played camping games ~

We enjoyed camping style breakfast and grilled ~

We cuddled our baby girls ~

We enjoyed the beautiful sunshine ~

We hunted toads and other insects ~

We roasted marshmallows and hunted for firewood ~

And we hiked the beautiful Jemez mountains ~

It was a pretty great weekend.  I look forward to many more. :)

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